Controversy is brewing over the City of West Hollywood’s plan to change operators overseeing the tennis courts in Plummer Park and West Hollywood Park.
On Monday night, the City Council is scheduled to consider a contract with a new vendor, Tennacity. With approval of this contract, the current operator, iTennis, would be out.
iTennis has operated the tennis concession since 2014. News that the contract isn’t being renewed has left loyal iTennis patrons upset. An online petition asking the City Council to retain iTennis as the operator has amassed 909 signatures so far.
In July, the city put out a request for proposals for the tennis concession as part of standard city protocol to make sure they were getting the best deal. Four vendors submitted proposals, including iTennis and Tennacity.
City staffers evaluated the proposals and ranked them in terms of the vendor’s experience/qualifications, services proposed, revenue sharing and plan for transition between vendors. Finally, staff conducted in-person interviews with each of the vendors. The staff ranking ended up favoring Tennacity, while iTennis came in third.
If the City Council approves the contract with Tennacity on Monday night, it would take over the tennis concession the next day.
John Letts, the owner of iTennis, has sent the city a detailed letter asking them to reconsider. He points out the number of people playing tennis has increased drastically in the seven years he has run the concession. His letter notes he has vastly expanded the programming, offers more lessons and initiated a court reservation system which favors West Hollywood residents over non-residents, plus he has paid the city considerably more under the profit sharing model than the required minimum.
“As a result of our professional operations, popular clinics and unique community events, we have forged many positive relationships with residents and players in West Hollywood,” Letts said in the letter. “We have a solid reputation.”
The online petition also offers 280 positive testimonials.
Joshua Osswald, the owner of Tennacity, was not available for comment.
In addition to the petition, Letts expects a number of iTennis supporters to speak at Monday’s City Council meeting.
People who want to make comments about the tennis concession contract are invited to call into the City Council meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. on Monday (a change from the previous 5:30 p.m. start).
Those who want to make a comment by telephone during the meeting are asked to email City Clerk Yvonne Quarker at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 4 p.m. on Monday to be added to the public speaker list for the meeting. Please include your name, the phone number from which you will be calling and what you wish to speak about.
Then, dial into the meeting ten minutes prior to the start. You will be placed on hold in the virtual meeting room until it is your turn to speak. The dial-in number is (669) 900-6833 and the meeting I.D. is 974 8186 3267, followed by the # symbol.
The City Council meeting can be viewed live on the WeHo TV portion of the city website (www.weho.org). Additionally, it will be broadcast on Spectrum Cable Television’s Channel 10 within West Hollywood’s borders. The meeting will also stream live on YouTube, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV and Roku by searching for “WeHo TV.”